Remarkable customer service

Regular readers here will be aware that I bang on about customer service on this blog from time to time (occasionally to my cost)!

For that reason, I was delighted to read Joel Spolsky’s comprehensive post on Remarkable Customer Service this morning.

Everyone in business needs to read this post.

Some quotes from it:

Most people’s experience with tech support and customer service comes from airlines, telephone companies, cable companies, and ISPs, all of whom provide generally awful customer service. It’s so bad you don’t even bother calling any more, do you?… when someone does call, look at it as a great opportunity to create fanatically devoted customer, one who will prattle on and on about what a great job you did.

It’s completely natural to have trouble saying “It’s my fault.” That’s human. But those three words are going to make your angry customers much happier. So you’re going to have to say them. And you’re going to have to sound like you mean it…. You may think that admitting fault is a strict no-no that can get you sued. This is nonsense. The way to avoid getting sued is not to have people who are mad at you. The best way to do this is to admit fault and fix the damn problem.

There is only one way to survive angry customers emotionally: you have to realize that they’re not angry at you; they’re angry at your business, and you just happen to be a convenient representative of that business.

Read the whole post. Adopt Joel’s customer service principles and watch your sales increase.

Having read it I almost wish I were a software developer so I could be one of Joel’s customers for his FogBugz bug tracking system. Almost!

2 thoughts on “Remarkable customer service”

  1. Superb article Tom, thank you for drawing attention to it. That single post is a pretty good start for a customer service bible as far as I’m concerned.

    I worked in customer service for AOL UK for over 4 years and to their credit, they did preach a lot of what Joel talks about, but not as clearly and they also neglected to provide decent career paths which is why I’m not there anymore. I know from contact with thousands of customers over the years that following Joel’s guide will send even the most irate customers away smiling and raving about your service.

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